Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Eve

The joy of the season through a child's eyes!

The snack table.

The table set for the meal.

Mimi and ampa opening their gift from doodle. This picture is out of focus as is the rest from the night (booo!) I had on my external flash which is obviously in need of new batteries.
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Santa comes to town!

We caught Santa eating his cookies and drinking his milk in our dinning room on Christmas Eve! We heard the reindeer land on the roof and went downstairs only to find Mr. Claus sitting at the table. Doodle stood at the bottom of the stairs bewildered and just waved, at first. He quickly warmed up and went and asked Santa how he liked the cookies. To which Santa replied, "they are delicious!" Thanks Uncle Val you made this a very memorable Christmas for one little boy!

Giving Santa an earful about what he wants for Christmas.

Going in for a closer look- who is this guy?

It is him....It is him....it is Santa!

Walking to get a closer look- pardon the absence of pants in the picutre!
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Christmas morning

Watching daddy-o open up his presents!

Checking out what Santa left for him.

Doodle's goods from Santa. A new big boy bike- complete with a headlight and blinkers!

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Christmas Day @ Uncle Richard's

After opening up presents on Christmas morning at home, we headed south to Uncle Richard's house. I was so proud of him for hosting a wonderful meal all on his own! It was a pretty day so we sat out by the pool before dinner and Caden even took a dip in the hot tub. Uncle Richard's house is pretty much like an amusement park for Caden. He has a golf cart, a scooter, a pool with a huge slide, hot tub, Wii, Guitar Hero and the list goes on and on.... It was great to have this special time with family especially given that momene just spent a week in ICU. She looks good for just being so sick, huh!?!

Shelbi and Dakota- oh how fun it is to have teenagers in the family!

I tried to get all of us at the table but I used the stairs as my tripod and cut off
some of us a little!

Uncle Richard serving up his delicious meal.
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Christmas with the Malone's

And Christmas just kept going... we celebrated with my mom's side of the family on Sunday at our house. I am not good at hosting, enjoying and photographing so I only got a couple of pics. I grabbed the camera just in time to snap a couple of Miss Oakley. She is adorable and so cute with her little tights and pretty bows. My 90 year old great grandmother got to come enjoy the day with us too.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Get a Strike!

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A little Place called, John T. Floore's Country Store

There are many Texas traditions and Floore's is one of those. Can you believe that MSW and I had never been there before? I drive by it approximately 100 times a year but have never stopped to check it out much less saw a performance. It was high time to mark this off of our list. Our b-in-l is a music guru and we all love Robert Earl. Oh how Robert Earl takes me back to our TLU days. It is a rare occasion that the W's throw caution to the wind and just have fun! We are so fortunate to have Crys/Val- because they know how to show us a good time and we are so lucky to have a group of friends like the P-town group. It is always about the next good time- Big Bend, South Padre, Concan- let us know the plan!

C.K.- wondering how I have pictures during daylight? MSW didn't get his tamale fix so we had to stop on the way to pick up CMW.

Val appears to be rounding us all up- me and crys- we just take pictures.

As we are waiting for Robert Earl to take the stage. I did not get one of the whole group but I love the way the guy in the background is trying to join in our crowd.
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Robert Earl!

Waiting for the doors to open. Good thing we got there early- there were only about 10 rows of chairs and most everyone had to stand. We were right up front!

C.K. rushes the stage for a photo opp.! Robert Earl seems to be giving her that,"oh that one is back" look!

We got to hang out for a little while. I am pretty sure he thought we were never going to leave.

This photo is a little fuzzy but it has about 50% of our group all in one picture with REK.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby it's cold outside

OK....cold enough for us South Texas. I had a bright idea to schedule all of our maintenance appointments on the same day. Just a marathon of dentist and doctor's appointments so that we get them all done in one day and then we are done for the year or at least 6 months in the case of the dentist. We headed out early, the sky spit on us the entire day, we manipulated parking garages and waiting rooms. We got the thumbs up for the dentist and got my annual check-up done. We came home and fell straight into relaxation mode- which in our house spells hot cocoa and comfortable shoes. I was on the fence for a couple years about Uggs- could not decide if I loved or hated them. Ultimately, they won me over just about the time they found themselves on a 6 month back order. I hit Nordy's when it was still 100 degrees out to make sure I secured a pair this year. This is a new style- notice the two tone leather. They are the most comfortable boots- they are like wearing house shoes. FYI- just in case you were wondering about the functionality and comfort of the Ugg boot.
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The story of the Gingerbread house

Mixing the icing- this part is fun, I'll help.

It is too hard to put the house together, I'll wait until you have it done and then
I'll do the fun decorating part.

Bowls of colors!

The finished work. She is a little top heavy, and maybe the window looks like it is melting off- but you can't deny her beauty!
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Making a difference

The Strategies for Success Team
Lindsey, me, Emma (our chair) & Irene

The Administrators with the students.
President,student, student, student, Exec. VP and our Dean

Very worthy students.

I seldom blog about work but this was a day that I want to always remember. This blog serves as a reminder for me so when I am beating my head against the wall (figuratively, of course) with students who don't care, I want to remember this day. Our Strategies team works exclusively with students who are academically at-risk. These students are on financial aid suspension for academic reasons and the financial burdens only compound the original barriers to academic success. We recognized this need and pulled together funds for a Grant-in-Aid that would be awarded to students who are back on the right track and need a little help until their financial aid is reinstated. After the initial semester we were able to secure an endowment from a very generous donor :) so this award will continue on. We held a little ceremony to recognize the students (these are students who have never in their life have been recognized for academic achievement.) We all got lumps in our throats when our administration walked in- to support us, our students and our little Grant-in-Aid program. The students were phenomenal- each telling their amazing stories of triumph that ultimately had everyone tearing up. It was one of those reward days.... you work months and months feeling like all your hard work is making no difference and then all of a sudden everything falls into place and you realize the impact you have made. We will not save every student, but for those that we do- I feel, we have made a little difference.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Vacation!

That's right....we are officially on Christmas vacation. 3 weeks of family, fun and cheer! We have already made this one to remember! With the graciousness of my parents, doodle spent the weekend with them at the river house. MSW and I attended one of my Christmas parties for work. Did I mention between Thursday am and Friday pm of last week I had 6 parties, and one funeral visitation (in Pearsall)? Sometimes I look back at my days and seriously think, "how did I just do all of that!" We spent Saturday in full Christmas shopping mode. While most of the gifts are done, it is a tradition that MSW and I spend a day of shopping together. We had a wonderful breakfast at a new place (the Egg & I in Stone Oak) and hit the shopping. I was so happy that MSW who NEVER, EVER buys anything for himself went a little crazy. I don't blame him when Macy's has their sports coats 75% off. We also found him work slacks, regularly $150 for $39.99- it was the sale of the century in regards to MSW's wardrobe.

We took a mid-day break from the shopping and went to the movies and then got back right into the shopping game- it was a great date day!

We fetched doodle on Sunday and after a visit to Momene in the hospital (in for observation of her heart), we spent the afternoon basking in the 85 degree weather. We worked in the back yard, winterizing our greenery. Doodle was an excellent helper and as I was cleaning out my herb garden I found that doodle has successfully grown carrots. How cute is that! He had planted them towards the back of the garden and all of a sudden, he showed me his harvest.

Then, the weather decided to go crazy and we jumped from 85 to not getting into the 40s as a high yesterday. It was miserable. I loathe the cold! It was gray, cold, windy...yuck! I am totally fine with 70s during Christmas. I do not need the cold to get into the spirit. In fact, the cold puts a damper on our plans. We were going to the Christmas special at Sea World today. After today, it is supposed to warm up again- bring it on!

I am not sure how I will be about blogging the next 3 weeks.... it will be one of 2 things. I will either blog alot or hardly at all. I have so many projects and things we are going to do- so blogging will either be at the forefront to showcase our doings or get pushed to the side because we are so busy. We shall see. In any case, Merry Christmas! Remember the true meaning of the season, play lots of Christmas music, visit with friends and family and laugh often and love much!

Monday, December 8, 2008


I am a member of the Botanical Society as it affords me and my clients free entrance into the Botanical Gardens. With the membership, comes some perks. I got an e-mail that Santa and trains would be there on Saturday. I had a shoot planned for that morning at the Botanical Gardens so it was a perfect opportunity to get our Santa picture for the year. I ended up moving my client shoot to the studio (Addie had a cold and it was pretty chilly outside that morning) but I had already promised doodle that he was going to see Santa. So after my shoot, I put on his Christmas sweater and we were on our way. I was really impressed with the set-up and activites. Santa read to the children and walked all around for individual photo opportunities. This so beat waiting in line at the mall for the one "omigod please get a good picture" Santa pics of years past.

Hi Mama...look it is Santa!

Telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas. He whispered a Chia Pet. Chia Pet??? Santa heard Porsche and thought it was the greatest thing ever. I guess letting Santa think he said Porsche was better than the reaction he would have gave if he had heard right. A chia pet, seriously?!?

Playing with the trains...he also got to ride on a little train and they had electrical ones set-up in the conservatory.

Making his train ornament.

Warning: The following is a series of posts of doodle's Christmas photo shoot. I posted alot because 1. I can and 2. he's too darn cute not to! Enjoy!
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About Me

Live, Laugh & Love...that's my battle cry! I love this life I've been given & blessed to share it with my handsome hubby, MW, my sweet son, doodle bug, and beautiful sissy belle!